Where to Eat in Chacarita, BA's New Foodie Paradise
A guide to Buenos Aires’s new culinary destination.
Nestled in the center of Buenos Aires and near the renowned and always vibrant Palermo is Chacarita. Once a district of chacras (ranches or farmland) owned by Jesuits, from the 19th century the barrio became synonymous for its sprawling, namesake cemetery. Such is the influence of the cemetery – the largest in South America – on the area that realtors have even tried, with tongue in cheek, to rename it Palermo Dead. More recently, with demand for living in Palermo driving rental prices up, Chacarita has grown in popularity among families and young city residents.
The knock-on effect of this increased popularity is a burgeoning gastronomical scene. Recognized chefs and entrepreneurs are constantly opening experimental kitchens that rival, or some say surpass, the culinary offering found anywhere else around Buenos Aires. Here are some of our favorite spots to tantalize your taste buds in and around the barrio.
*Note that a few of these picks are technically located within the northwest side of Villa Crespo, which borders the northeast side of Chacarita. But most people consider them part of this Chacarita explosion.
Chacarita Restaurant Picks
Born in the 2020 pandemic, Naranjo Bar (Ángel Justiniano Carranza 1059) has quickly become a go-to place in Chacarita. This wine-centric, tapas-style bar has simple dishes served at sight and based on seasonal produce. The regularly changing menu is heavy on vegetables, fatty fish, olive oil, soy-free pork, and grass-fed beef. Regular classics include pickled eggplants and home-preserved mackerel. Besides the bread, everything is gluten-free, with many vegetarian options. It's an excellent early option, and booking isn’t a must. Also on the small plate vibe is Picaron (Av. Dorrego 866). It’s the brainchild of Maximiliano Rossi, the creator of burger bar Big Sur and veggie hotspot Sacro. An open kitchen overlooks a bright, airy dining area with long, shared tables. The menu is a fusion of Latin American and Asian flavors, and there’s a set lunch menu (omnivore and vegetarian) and a more adventurous dinner menu. The eponymous picarones (sweet potato fritters, nduja and mascabo honey) are a must.
Anchoita (Juan Ramírez de Velasco 1520) is owned by the multifaceted chef, pilot, and filmmaker of humanitarian flights Enrique Piñeyro. It features an open kitchen and a grill surrounded by a highly original counter, where you can eat while watching the chefs at work. On the menu are plates inspired by everything from Guarani recipes to fish from Argentina’s rivers and vegetables from their farm. There’s also delicious local charcuterie, cheese, and meat. You can turn up and join the queue or book online. But be warned –bookings for 2024 were available (and announced on Twitter by its owner) on December 27th 2023, and taken the same day. Make sure to order their chipa (Argentine cheese bread).
One block along from Anchoita is its sister restaurant, Anchoita Cava. A cheese and wine bar, you can choose from a selection of savory dishes like olives, pickled artichokes or mushrooms, and anchovies served with sourdough bread. The team also runs Panaderia de Anchoita (Aguirre 1562), a great place to pick up masa madre pastries, artisan ice cream, and organic coffee.
Located next to the train tracks, Chuí (Loyola 1250) occupies a large semi-opened shed featuring an industrial atmosphere complemented by a wild garden. This hip vegetarian and vegan eatery has a menu big on mushroom flavors and infusions. Must-tries are the mushroom pâté with radish and house vinegar, and girgola (oyster) mushroom milanesa. You can even see the mushrooms growing in the open kitchen. For nonveggie lovers, Chuí is also known for its pizza. Pass by in the afternoon to enjoy small plates, wines, and vinyl DJ sets.
Ajo Negro (Av. Córdoba 6237) prides itself on using locally sourced fresh produce to create ocean-inspired tapas that showcase the richness of the Atlantic. Try their Patagonic navajas with almond gremolata, their smoked aubergine with Brie and arriero garlic, or the fish of the day. Pair your plates with a wide selection of wines from established and up-and-coming bodegas.
Moving onto an Asian theme, long-time friends Christina Sunae and Flor Ravioll are the masterminds behind Apu Nena (Aguirre 1600). The name means Grandmother (Nena) in Sunae’s family Filipino dialect, and tapas with innovative and explosive flavors are the stars. Menu favorites include pork dumplings, vegetarian baos, grilled squid and mackerel, plus vegan options. It’s wise to book, but you can venture to the bar area with no reservation. Staying in Asia, Na Num (Roseti 177) brings Korean flair to the Chacarita foodie scene. Na num means to share in Korean, and you can do just that with options like a kimchi-tasting plate, yukhwe (beef tartare), and mussel ceviche. The restaurant blends modernity with modesty, and there are two seating times per night (7.45pm and 10pm).
Pizza has always been a big hit in Argentina, and today, Chacarita has some that go beyond your standard mozzarella. Gordo Chanta Pizza (Juan Ramírez de Velasco 1200) started making pizzas on La Favorita Cantina's terrace in Palermo. The slow-rise pizzas with local, premium cheese and cold meats now have their own location on the same street as Anchoita. Innovative options such as pepperoni with spicy honey and persimmon with burrata are worthy of your taste buds. Organic wines and small plates like Mar del Plata anchovies, mussel escabeche with fennel, and beef tartare are also available. Mil y Pico (Av. Dorrego 1194) brings us grilled, crunchy pizzas from a quebracho-lit fire overseen by Hell’s Pizza partner Danilo Ferraz. Toppings include high-quality cheese and cold cuts from Tandil. Alternatives include empanadas with international twists – Indian chicken curry and Dallas-style pulled pork. For pizza with history, check out El Imperio (Corriente 6869). Established in 1947, it’s a classic stop to grab takeout slices before and after a train journey.
There’s more international fare on offer at Acido (Charlone 999), which has a playful slogan of don’t take us too seriously. This father-and-son creation celebrates traditional grandmother-like cooking with huge portions. The seasonal menu features seven dishes: five savory and two desserts. Plates to look out for are Tteokbokki rice cakes, grilled sardines, fried chicken, and raw keppe, which take you from Korea to Spain, the United States, and Lebanon. The decor is eclectic, with granny plates and Formula 1 memorabilia. Just across from the Mercado de las Pulgas flea market, Georgie’s is a place to have in the memory for authentic tacos and other Mexican staples. Think homemade tortillas, pico de gallo, cilantro yogurt, and chutneys. They’ve even got a range of hot sauces that give a real kick to those in the mood for firepower.
When abundance is the order of the day, Obrador Restaurante (Charlone 202) is a fine option. The signature approach here is that the employees design and create everything – obrador means worker. When they say everything, they mean everything – the bread, sauces, yogurt, butter, furniture and light fixtures. The menu is simple yet elegant, with delights such as a pastron sandwich, burrata salad and portobello confit to pick from. If you prefer to order plates to share, try Condarco (Dorrego 901). What started as a closed-door restaurant at Chef Pablo Friedman’s house turned into an open restaurant with the addition of Eduardo Álvarez. It has a laid-back atmosphere and a solid wine and coffee selection. Menu favorites include potato tortilla and milanesa sandwich.
An Argentine food scene wouldn’t be right without the traditional parrilla (steakhouse). One of the best in the barrio is Maure Parrilla (Av. Córdoba 6401). Just a few blocks from Plaza Mafalda, it offers the quintessential experience for meat lovers. Start with provoleta grilled cheese and empanadas, continue with chorizo, morcilla and chinchulines (chitterlings) to finish with traditional cuts such as skirt, sirloin, and ribeye steak, or less known cuts as marucha or arañita. Of a similar ilk is La Vaquita de Chaca (Federico Lacroze 3873). This no-frills grill is a perfect stop for giant-sized milanesas and parrilladas (meat platters) to share, plus pasta, sandwiches, and national dishes like locro (thick squash stew).
While on the grilling vibe, Franca (Darwin 1111) takes wood-fired cooking to the next level. Everything on the menu is cooked on the fire. Bar seats and tables have clear views of the kitchen, where a team of chefs prepare imaginative plates like wagyu tongue with pickle cucumbers and cured prawns with coral alioli and ajillo. The in-house sommelier will happily recommend the perfect wine pairing while talking you through the flavors.
Canti Bar (Bonpland 882) never fails for an easy-going cantina-style atmosphere. With a menu organized into quick, small, and medium plates, it has both on-the-go bites and a full gastronomic experience paired with a vast wine selection or vermouth.
The bistro experience awaits at Alegra Restaurante y Vineria (Olleros 3891). Sommelier Mariana Achaval and chef Lorena Papasegio (from Bar 878) propose tasty plates and non-obvious wines at accessible prices. The menu is simple yet stylish, the tables are minimal, and the clientele are regulars. They come for focaccia stuffed with roasted vegetables, parmesan, and olives or ciabatta with salami, ricotta, herbs, tomato, and black olives, among other tasty offerings. As their ethos goes: Comer, Beber, Compartir, Vivir (Eat, Drink, Share, Live.).
Chacarita Bar Picks
Scattered around the barrio is a selection of bars that are revolutionizing the cocktail segment of the gastronomy industry. Besides tasty drinks, these establishments are also at the forefront of gastronomic delight. One of these is Sofa (Av. Dorrego 1301), which offers inventive and bold cocktail flavors, like Watermelon and Wine (Johnnie walker, sauvignon blanc, watermelon and basil), or Wine Fashioned (chardonnay, homemade fig liqueur, gruyere and cocoa). A selection of small dishes including provoleta, pakoras, and pibil pork style taco, complete the menu and make it a great spot for meeting friends and long conversations.